Firefighting Memories by Eric Sheppard

Scott Manor House and the Fort Sackville Foundation proudly present Firefighting Memories by Eric Sheppard, a long-time Bedford resident who served as both a volunteer and a career firefighter in the Bedford Fire Department for most of his 40-year career.

The Bedford Library was presented with the Firefighting Memories monograph on Monday the 12th of February. 

Readers of Firefighting Memories will learn of firefighting advances in Bedford over the last part of the 20th century. They will gain an appreciation for the dedication firefighters displayed in protecting and strengthening the Bedford community that they served.

Eric’s story begins as a 16-year-old volunteer firefighter who was later hired in 1975 as one of the first career firefighters in the Bedford Fire Department. His story takes us behind the scenes of the Department, which became known for successfully blending volunteer and career firefighters into a unified force. That force provided exemplary fire protection service and emergency medical response for the Bedford community. Eric led the career section from 1979-1996, all the while still responding to calls as a volunteer in his off-duty hours, giving him a unique view of the growth and success of the Bedford Fire Department which was steered by its volunteer chiefs.

Eric describes the work and satisfactions in providing fire protection against a backdrop of community and fire department growth, Bedford’s incorporation as a Town, significant advances in equipment, technology, and training, and the inclusion of women as firefighters. Eric also recounts the 1996 municipal amalgamation and the changes and challenges he experienced in his role as a district chief in the newly formed Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services, before his retirement in 2000. Readers of Eric’s story will ride along as he and his career and volunteer firefighter colleagues answered the call to serve their community.

Firefighting Memories by Eric Sheppard was presented to the Bedford Library on February 12, 2024, joining other Scott Manor House publications in the local history section for easy public access.

Firefighting Memories is a monograph, written by Eric Sheppard, edited by Elaine Loney, and published by the Fort Sackville Foundation’s Fort Sackville Press. You can read it at Scott Manor House, in our Reference Library, or at the Bedord Public Libary. Copies are available for purchase if you contact Scott Manor House / the Fort Sackville Foudation by email or in person.

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